WHERE THE BIRDS SING WORDS: It's a tribute to a classic theme park attraction, we think, when its name becomes casually shortened over time. It says that the attraction has become so familiar to visitors, and is now such a large part of a visit, that people only need say one or two words of the full name for others to know what they mean. "it's a small world" -- yep, the name is indeed lowercase, but then you knew that -- is now "Small World" to many park visitors. "Pirates of the Caribbean" is simply "Pirates" to legions of fans, and "Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room"? We hear "Tiki Room" more often than not, or sometimes just "Tiki." But then the Tiki Room has had some time to build up its rep: fifty years to be exact. It was born in 1963, at the height of the Anaheim destination's animatronic boom, and it still stands today at the entrance to Adventureland. And to mark its half-century anniversary? A party, naturally, for fans of singing flowers and drumming idols.
JUNE 28-29: The 50th anniversary celebration is set for the end of June 2013. On the docket? Artist signings -- you've seen the Shag takes on the famous Polynesian setting, we're betting -- plus special merchandise and other themed haps. This will all go down at the Disneyland Hotel, we should add, and not inside the attraction itself (though surely fans will pay it one or two or ten visits while there).
WARM DAY GETAWAY: So, what's your favorite part of the bird-and-bloom-laden room? Hands down we love the sudden thunderstorm best, when the lights go out, though that's slightly startled many a young visitor over the decades. More things to love? The old-school birdly banter, the moving eyes on the pillars, and the way the Birds of Paradise mouths kind of make a clicking sound when they sing. It's also a great place to cool down on a 100+ temp kind of OC day. Oh, and another must for the love list? The Dole Whip Floats for sale outside. If you're not wearing that tiny paper umbrella in your hair during the show, while you sip frosty pineapple juice, you're not fully seizing the moment. But of course you always do, right? It's Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, after all.